Ludicrous report card on Modi’s foreign policy!

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 28 May 2018 09:53:51


By Vijay Phanshikar,









One of the points on the ludicrous Report Card Congress President Mr. Rahul Gandhi has prepared on the performance of the Government of Mr. Narendra Modi upon completing four years in office, is massive failure in handling of foreign policy issues. This very point shows how terribly biased Mr. Gandhi is about the Prime Minister and his Government’s performance.

For, the whole world has lauded the foreign policy management of Mr. Modi in the last four years. Those who understand the complexities of foreign policy management have given the Prime Minister high marks. Yet, looking through jaundiced eyes, Mr. Gandhi has described Mr. Narendra Modi as a failure on that front. Nothing could be more ludicrous than such a charge that has no substance.

A well-documented book on India-China relations, written by senior journalist Mr. Arun Shourie, has an interesting combo picture on its cover. It shows the then Chinese leader Mr. Wu Jintao standing erect at the right end of the series of pictures. In the extreme left frame, we see the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh standing erect and beginning to walk toward the Chinese leader. Every progressive frame in the combo picture shows Dr. Manmohan Singh bending forward slightly more. The last picture -- to the extreme right -- shows Dr. Singh having bent almost in right angle in front of Mr. Wu Jintao and extending his right arm for a hand-shake with the Chinese leader.

This picture illustrated the overall condition of India’s foreign policy management in the pre-Modi years during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime headed by Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Compare this picture with another one at Hamburg in July 2017 at the time of BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa -- summit at the height of the Doka La face-off between the Indian and the Chinese forces. Because of India’s hardened stance, China had made it clear that it would not engage India in any negotiations and its President Mr. Xi Jinping would have no meeting with Prime Minister Mr. Modi. Then came the BRICS meet at Hamburg in Germany, and Mr. Narendra Modi grabbed not just the opportunity but also Mr. Xi Jinping’s hand firmly and did not let go. No matter Mr. Jinping’s discomfiture, Mr. Modi kept up a smiling countenance and talking to the Chinese leader in full glare of all BRICS leaders.

What do the two comparative pictures show? They show a world of difference. They show an altogether different persona of Indian diplomacy. They show how confident Mr. Narendra Modi has been in all his diplomatic outings.
That Hamburg meet was in July 2017.

In April 2018, Mr. Modi travelled to China to have a one-on-one informal summit with Mr. Xi Jinping at Wuhan, the birthplace of Mao Zedong, where both the leaders asked their Armies to avoid confrontation. And immediately afterwards, Mr. Modi accepted the invitation of Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin for an informal summit where the two leaders discussed critical and mutual strategic ties in the global and historical context.

And in the past four years since he ascended to prime ministership, Mr. Narendra Modi has travelled to countless countries in pursuance of India’s foreign policy goals by establishing one-on-one friendship with global leaders that included United States Presidents Mr. Barack Obama and Mr. Donald Trump. His rallies of the Indian diaspora at the Madison Square Garden in New York, at Sydney, at the Royal Hall in London’s Westminster, to name a few, proved to the world what kind of a connect the Prime Minister has been able to establish with the global Indian community seeking its cooperation in India’s growth story.

The world has recognised Mr. Modi’s uncanny ability to form strong and personal bonds with global leaders, so much so that he called Mr. Obama ‘Barack’ and invited the American leader to call him ‘Narendra’.

If this is what some may call ‘goody-goody’ diplomacy, in the past four years, India has not shied away from using the military factor as a strong point in its foreign policy management. And in its efforts to stand up to the Chinese blow-hot-blow-cold bullying, India has developed its own friends in the region including Afghanistan, Myanmar, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Philippines, the two Koreas, Australia, New Zealand, to name a few. And as if this effort was still incomplete, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi also travelled to World Economic Forum at the Alpine resort of Davos in Switzerland to establish the importance of India’s globally inclusive cultural ethos on the basis of its ancient wisdom emanating from the Vedas and the Upanishadas.

And how can anybody forget how Mr. Narendra Modi established India’s presence as an emerging global power when he succeeded in convincing the United Nations to accept June 21 as the International Yoga Day?

Of course, everybody knows that diplomatic developments often take place through efforts of long years. Yet, the points mentioned here have emerged from the efforts mostly from the last four years since Mr. Modi’s assumption of prime ministership. In fact, as the world knows and recognises, Mr. Modi invited the leaders of all the neighbouring countries for his swearing-in ceremony the like of which India had not seen in decades.

Yet the honourable Mr. Rahul Gandhi has cheek to call Mr. Modi’s foreign policy handling a massive failure. Only a person who is out of his mind can have the raw courage to make such a charge against one of the most successful statesmen the world has seen in the past few decades.
But then, to each one one’s own -- madness!